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Nickel Free and Nickel Safe Metals Guide

Titanium

Titanium is one of the few metals that are completely compatible with our

body chemistry and will not cause any allergic reaction, skin irritations or discolorations. It is safe for people suffering from nickel allergy, as well as being effective in preventing it. It is highly corrosive resistant and around 60% of the weight of steel

 

Titanium Grade 1-4 are unalloyed and considered commercially pure or "cp". Grade 5 and up are Titanium alloys which contain elements such as hydrogen, carbon, oxygen,palladium,but are still nickel free.

 

Titanium Grade 1-4 are unalloyed and considered commercially pure or "cp". Grade 5 and up are Titanium alloys which contain elements such as hydrogen, carbon, oxygen,palladium,but are still nickel free.

 

Surgical Steel and Stainless Steel

Steel is an alloy that contains around 11% chromium by mass, and is corrosion resistant. Both surgical and stainless steel contain nickel, but bound so that it releases no nickel ions onto the skin, and is  hypoallergenic rather than nickel free. Therefore it is safe for nickel-sensitive wearers. Surgical steel is used the manufactureof surgicalinstruments and by all reputable piercing studiosfor jewellery.

 

Surgical Steel is used for corrosion resistance applications, plus 316L Stainless (UNS# S31603), the “L” stands for Low Carbon. If any class of steel truly deserves to be called surgical stainless steel these "L" class derivates of 316 would be it, It never develops surface rust and is even resistant to constant salt water exposure. Formula Carbon .03 Manganese 2.00 Silicon 1.00 Chromium 16-18 Nickel 10-14 Phosphorus .045 Sulfur .03 Molybdenum 2.0-3.0 Nitrogen.

 

Zinc Alloy

Zamac is a zinc alloy comprising of zinc, aluminium, magnesium and copper. It contains no nickel and is widely used for nickel free jewelry and fashion accessories

 

Silver

An actual allergy to silver itself is extremely rare. There are some recorded cases of this but they are very few and far between. Fine Silver has a very low allergenic probability as it is by definition 99.9% pure. Sterling silver is 92.5% pure, with the other 7.5% comprising of copper. This is infused to harden the silver and make it more durable. It's a great metal to wear for allergy sufferers, and is generally hallmarked as "925", although this may not be present on some artisan jewellery.

 

Platinum

Very expensive, as it is one of the rarest elements in the earths crust. Cheap platinum alloys can contain nickel so beware.

 

Gold

Pure gold has a very high resistance to corrosion, and as seen elsewhere on this site, it is the corrosion and consequent release of nickel salts onto the skin that causes nickel allergy. This is why pure gold is so hypoallergenic, but when mixed with other elements such as copper or silver, this purity is diminished.

 

14 Karat Yellow Gold is an alloy consisting of the following: 58% pure gold, 25% pure silver, and 17% pure copper. White Gold can contain nickel, so be aware.

 

Nobium

A nickel free metal that is anodized (coloured) by dipping into an electrically charged bath. The amount of current determines the colour. Teal, purple and black are the most popular. Niobium is solid, i.e,  doesn't need to be electroplated.

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